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How Safe Are You from Coronavirus in Your Car?

woman wearing mask driving car
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We’re now entering the sixth month of the coronavirus pandemic, and most of us are deeply stressed out and restless. Many Americans are refusing to follow basic safety measures, such as wearing masks and social distancing.

A recent example is the “drive-in” concert held by the band the Chainsmokers in the Hamptons over the weekend. As many as 2000 concertgoers attended the event, which is now under investigation. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo claimed that the concert displayed “egregious social distancing violations.”

Concert attendees of the “Safe & Sound” event, which served as a fundraiser with the cheapest tickets starting at $225, was supposed to follow a drive-in model. Like the old-fashioned drive-in theaters (which are enjoying a renaissance thanks to the pandemic), people were meant to stay in their cars and enjoy the show without getting too close to each other. However, photos from the event show that this was not the case.

But how safe are you in your car, anyway?

Many of us are picking up drive-thru meals, using curbside delivery service, and even socializing in our cars. Birthday parades and parking lot tailgating parties are the norm now. It certainly seems safer to stay in your car.

Be Safe at the Pump

Fuel pumps are already really, really dirty. We’re talking significantly more filthy than a public toilet seat. Untold number of people touch them every day, and the handles and buttons are basically never cleaned.

Always wash or sanitize your hands after filling up your car. Avoid touching your face until you’ve had a chance to clean up, too.

Disinfect Your Car and Yourself

Experts advise using hand sanitizer whenever you get into your car before you touch anything. That way, you limit the number of germs you might deposit on the steering wheel, control panel, and so on.

Those areas should also be disinfected regularly. The “high touch” point of your car includes the door hand, the gear shifter, and the radio. Don’t neglect your cup holder, either!

Avoid Taking on Passengers

You probably know this already, but giving rides to people who aren’t in your household is unsafe. Cars are very small enclosed spaces. If you give a ride to a friend, neighbor, coworker, or family member who turns out to be sick, chances are good that you could get sick, too.

Are Road Trips Okay?

If you’re anxious to get out of your house and do something, you might be tempted to hop in the car. While a drive through the country or mountains might be a nice way to spend a day without encountering too many people, it is not 100% safe.

If you need to get out for any reason–a bathroom break, lunch, or even a scenic overlook with other people–there is an element of risk. Pack your own food from home, and try to limit pit stops to the bare minimum.

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